Sunday 23rd September 2012
Day 127 - Southport to Casino, NSW - 174kms.

It was another warm night, we both slept well, and woke before 6:30am, then I got up and went on the Internet before starting to pack up. We were in no hurry to leave, as we only had 174kms to go, even though we had some hills to traverse. We left about 8:30am and drove along the Freeway past Tweed Heads, stopped at the Sleepy Hollow rest area for our first stop. Turned off the pacific hwy heading towards bangalow and then onto Lismore, where we stopped for another rest stop, before proceeding to Casino. We are staying at the Casino Resort, the CMCA was originally involved with its building and is the best setup caravan park, we have stayed in. Today was the hottest day of our trip and we sat outside in the shade with a very refreshing cool breeze.
As it is only an overnight stop, I only connected power and water. We received full digital Free to air channels, so no need to setup the satellite TV.
We drove into Casino and topped up with diesel and then went to KFC for lunch, it was YUMMA. During the afternoon, we chatted with our neighbour Colin, who told us all about Yowah, which we plan to visit on next year's trip North.

Dinner was a scratch meal, Marg had cheese on toast, while I had egg sangas. We watched Big Brother.

Tomorrow we drive to Fossicker CP in Glen Innes for 8 nights, to do some fossicking.

No photos today.

Monday 24th September 2012
Day 128 - Casino to Glen Innes - 220kms.

It was back to a cool night, we both slept very well, and woke before 6:00am, so we laid in bed and watched Sunrise. We were in no hurry to leave, as we have 220kms to go, even though we had many hills to traverse. We left about 8:08am and headed towards Tenterfield over 100kms away. The Bruxner Highway is bloody hilly and at some stage the mighty Navara was pulling us up hills in 2nd gear, in particular, Newman's Pinch was slow and steep. We arrived in Tenterfield at 10:20am and headed towards Glen Innes about 90kms south, arriving at Fossicker CP at 11:41am.
A monstrous black front rolled over us from the west, while we were setting up camp. There was a brief very strong gust which luckily, didn't cause any damage in the park, followed by rain and just when we thought it was all over, down came the hail stones. No damage was suffered by us. After the storm passed over us, I then continued to setup the fiver, as we are staying for 9 nights, it was a full setup, with awning, and all sides. I tried to tune in the TV to Free to Air Digital, but after 15 minutes, I gave up and erected the Satellite dish and after 1 minute, I had all the digital channels tuned in and rarin' to go.
We meet our next door neighbours (Ron and Shirl), who are also like us, are here for the Emmaville Gem show this weekend, they are also doing some fossicking during the week, so our paths may cross. Naturally, after setting up camp, we were both buggered, so bed is looking good, I have retrieved our sleepingbags, because it is cold, currently 6.9° and dropping.

Dinner was another scratch meal, we had one pan dinner and it was YUMMA. We watched Big Brother, then listened to the Brownlow count.

Tomorrow we may be doing some fossicking by ourselves.

Our rig appearing over the hedges at Casino Resort.

Site 52 at Casino Resort.

Cross roads.

Tuesday 25th September 2012
Day 129 - Fossicking at Sara River, KookaBookra.

We expected a cold night, so I broke out our sleepingbags, a brilliant decision. It was freezing. We both slept well, and woke just before 6am, and laid in bed and watched Sunrise, finally getting up when the van had warmed up, I quickly sprung out of bed and turned on the heater and then straight back to bed, until it was warm. We finally got up and on the internet, even though the internet here is very slow. About 9am, we drove into Woollies for some food shopping, then back to camp to get ready for a fossicking trip to sara River about 50kms from Glen innes.
We drove past the Yarrow Creek fossicking area, where our neighbours (Ron and Shirl) were fossicking, so we tootered them as we drove past. They realised that it was us. Continuing another 20kms on gravel road to Sara River. The bridge is currently being rebuilt with a new one and it was impassable as there was a crane and 4 semi containing bridge spans. I spoke to a worker and we were at the right place and he showed us where we could park, so we did. We noticed that there were already 2 other fossickers there, specing along the river. Another small world instant, the 2 other fossickers just happened to be members of the same internet fossicking forum that we are. Unbelieveable. We gathered our tools and spade and put on our gumbies and walked down to the river and checked out the sandy bits. We found some stones that we thought may have been topaz and sapphires, but when checked by more knowledgeable fossicker back at camp, it was decided that it wasn't what we thought. After more than 2 hours, we finished fossicking and walked back to the mighty Navara, where we ate our cheese sangas for lunch, the bread was so fresh and yumma.

We arrived back at camp about 2pm and after unpacking the essentials, we both had a nanna nap. Later in the arvo, we touched base with Ron and Shirl and discussed both of our day's fossicking adventures, they didn't have any luck either.
Dinner was pies, which were yumma. As usual, we watched Big Brother and then bed was looking good, as we are buggered after a 'big' day.

Tomorrow we are going on a tag-along tour with "John the Baptist" (John is the organiser and the tour is run by the Baptist Church, hence John the Baptist)

The bridge is being rebuilt.

The fossickers in action.

Looking upstream of Sara River.

Wednesday 26th September 2012
Day 130 - John the Baptist fossicking tour.

Last night was not as cold as the night before and we both slept very well. I had set the alarm for 7am, so we wouldn't be late for John the Baptist's fossicking tour, but we were awake by 6:30am and watched Sunrise.
We all met at the Baptist Church just before 9am, paid John $10 a head and then away we went, following John. Our convoy consisted of John and Sue, The Rock Hunter, Gibbo75, Capt Mendoza, jasonr and snowman3195, all ALFers plus Ron and Shirl, plus Gary and his mate, 8 cars in all. We headed south to Glencoe where we went east to a landowners property and then followed John through his paddocks, dodging cattle, sheep and kangaroos. We arrived at our destinated fossicking area, parked our cars and carried our gear to the creek. This is where the Master (John) took us along the creek pointing out various areas to fossick, we all went to different spots. Marg and I were not up to speed with what to bring, we had gumboots, but others had wanders and 2 had wetsuits, I thought this is interesting. Marg and I found a spot where I could stand in the creek and not get wet, we didn't find much. John was walking past offering advice, like you need to go further into the creek, deeper than your gumboots, I declined, and we didn't find much. While having lunch, I decided to get a tad wet and the Master directed me where to dig. We found some small sapphires, small garnets and small zircons and heaps of spinel.

The highlight of today was while in the water digging, a red bellied black snake entered the water about 10 feet from me, Marg ran and I stood and watched it swim about 2 feet towards me, then it turned around and headed back to the bank and disappeared, after that while digging I kept an eye open, it didn't reappear. We left about 2pm and arrived back at caamp at 3:03pm. It was a brilliant fossicking day.

We spent the remainder of the arvo having a shower and washing my clothes, then relaxed with a chilled refresher or two.
Dinner was quiches, which were yumma. As usual, we watched Big Brother and then bed was looking good, after another 'big' day.

Tomorrow nothing is currently planned.

Following the Master uphill, down Dale.

Now across the land owners property.

We are here at last.

The pupil (me) and the Master.

The pupil is in the water and you can just see the Master's legs.
High and dry and comfy.

The Master directing where the 'wet' pupil should dig.

Is this what you want, Master?

I am a dick! At least, I am not totally drenched.

Marg, Ron, Shirl and Sue stressed to the max. Maybe not.

Some of the group.

Some are organised with waders.

Gibbo the Wetsuit man.

Thursday 27th September 2012
Day 131 - Visiting Emmaville and surrounds.

3rd full day in Glen Innes.

Last night was not as cold as the night before and we both slept very well. We awoke at 6am and laid in bed watching Sunrise.
We planned to visit Aussie Sapphire, which is our forum owner and sells all fossicking gear, so we arrived at Andrew and Leah's (Aussie Sapphire) place about 10:35am this morning, to be greeted by a "Closed today" sign on their door. Not to be put off by this major rejection, we drove on to Emmaville, thought we would check out the Caravan park. There were one tent and two caravans, so I thought we would then check the Emmaville Museum. Guess what, it doesn't open Thursday. Another rejection. So we headed off to Deepwater, which we made without any drama. I noticed the "Route 11 Tourist Road" sign, so we followed that to Torrington, back to Emmaville and finally back to Glen Innes. The scenery was absolutely stunning, I stopped a couple of times and took photos, so the day was not a waste at all. Lucky, I thrive on rejection.

Back at Glen Innes, we checkeed out the Glen Innes RSL and then did some food shopping, before we relaxed back at camp.
Dinner was pies with vegies, very yumma. As usual, we watched Big Brother and I went to bed and continued reading my Ozzie osbourne ebook. if you get offended by swearing, definitely don't read his autobiography. It is a great read.

Tomorrow we are going to 7 Oaks Sapphires for some paid fossicking.

Emmaville to Deepwater Road.

Sheep everywhere.

Beautiful lambs walking alongside the road.

Baa baa black sheep.

View into the valley.

Looking over Emmaville.

Friday 28th September 2012
Day 132 - Fossicking at 7 Oaks, Inverell.

4th full day in Glen Innes.

Last night was back to cold again, but we both slept very well. We awoke at 6am and laid in bed watching Sunrise.
We get organised and left camp at 8:25am and headed to 7 Oaks Sapphires arriving at 9:33am and stayed 3 hours fossicking, we found nothing of $ value but a couple of tiny not very clear sapphires. There were 2 other couples and an old fart who has been camping there, off and on, for the past 6 months, and he looks like it. We left there at 12:29pm and headed back to camp.

Marg received some bad news on Thursday, one of her fellow teachers passed away and her funeral will be next Wednesday, so we are going to visit the Emmaville Show on Saturday and leave early Sunday and hopefully arrive home on Tuesday. So this afternoon, I started packing up the awning and ends etc.
Dinner was yummy nachos. As usual, we watched Big Brother and I went to bed and continued reading my Ozzie Osbourne ebook. He is still swearing a lot.

Tomorrow we are going to the Emmaville Show which includes 2 field trips.

Marg the fossicker in action.

The other fossickers.

The cafeteria.

Views from Long Plains Lane.

View from Sinclair's Lookout.

View from Sinclair's Lookout.

Saturday 29th September 2012
Day 133 - Glen Innes to Moree - 210kms.

I started off with my sleeping bag on, but by midnight I had ditched that and was at 2 blankets. I slept shithouse and by the time I got up at 6:00am I was still tired, so we decided that we would give the Emmaville Show a miss and just take our time and drive to Moree. I also didn't like the idea of driving 655kms tomorrow from Glen Innes to Peak Hill. We finished packing up and left camp and stopped at the public dump point and finally left Glen Innes at 9:12am. We stopped at Inverell, Warialda and finally at Moree at 12:06pm. It rained the whole way and we just drove to the conditions and had no dramas at all. We topped up with fuel in Moree before we arrived at Gwydir CP. We managed to get a drive thru site, so we didn't have to unhitch at all, just connect the power and water and didn't need to setup the dish, as the normal Free to Air TV received all digital stations. I started off sitting up watching the Grand Final and then moved onto the bed and missed a quarter but woke up to see the final quarter. Congrats to the Swans, but I did go for the Hawks.

Dinner will be Marg's world famous damper. We may watch Tv, but it will be an early night.

Tomorrow we will drive 465kms to stay at Leighton's Peak Hill CP.

No photos today, even though some of the views were magic shrouded in rain clouds. I couldn't be bothered stopping to take a photo. The 2 photos below were taken the next morning, before we packed up.

Gwydir CP - Drive thru Site 8.

Gwydir CP - Drive thru Site 8.

Sunday 30th September 2012
Day 134 - Moree to Peak Hill - 446kms.

I used my sleeping bag all night and slept beautiful. We awoke about 6am and started to get ourselves organised. We left Moree at 7:20am and headed south, stopping at Narrabri for fuel and then stopped at Coonabrabarn, then stopped at Gilgandra and another fuel stop at Dubbo and finally arrived at Leighton's Peak Hill CP at 1:05pm. The traffic was very light and we sat on 100 - 105kph, consequently, our fuel economy was higher than normal. We are on our normal site 20, I connected the power and water and Marg had a shower. While Marg was showering, I walked over to the Bowling Club, as the RSL's normal chefs are on leave and the word is that the temporary chefs are not flash, so I checked out what's what. There are 6 pokie machines and the bistro opens at 6pm, we will there.
We walked over to the Bowling Club about 5pm, we signed ourselves in and Marg went and played the pokies, I bought us a beer each and I sat down and watched the TV, the Rugby GF was just about to start. I got questioned from 3 locals who had more than one chilled refresher each. I told them that I was barracking for Storm, naturally, they weren't. At 6pm, it was half time Storm leading 14 to 4 and Marg won $8 on the pokies.
Dinner was a roast buffer $14 per plate, help yourself, which I did. It was YUMMA. Marg shouted desert which was pavlova, which was YUMMA, we couldn't remember the last time we had pav.

We walked back to camp and I watched the rest of the Rugby, hoping that Storm will win. PS: Storm won 14 to 4. Congrats Storm.

Tomorrow is a big day, we will drive 574kms to stay at Big4 Park Lane CP in Shepp.

The view heading south from Peak Hill.

Monday 1st October 2012
Day 135 - Peak Hill to Shepparton - 574kms.

I used my sleeping bag all night and slept beautiful. We awoke about 6am and started to get ourselves organised. We left Peak Hill at 7:05am, we tried to say goodbye to Leighton but we couldn't find him. So Leighton, thank you for another nice night at downtown Peak Hill. Our first stop was at 8:01am just north of Forbes, next stop was at 9:13am just north of West Wyalong at the Shell roadhouse, next stop was at 10:21 at the Ardlethan Rest area, next stop was just north of Narrandera at the Fruit Fly litter bin, we threw out some tomatoes, next stop was at 12:18pm at the Jerilderie bakery, where Marg had a sausage roll and I had 2 pies, they are all home made and bloody YUMMA, next stop was at BP Jerilderie just south of town for a top up and then our next stop was at 1:46pm at Strathmerton and finally arrived at Big4 Park Lane Shepp. This CP is owned by the Park Lane group of guys, who we met back in 2008 at Charleville at Bailey's Bar CP, it is a small world. Barry remembered us. True. We setup in a drive thru and relaxed on the internet and I had a beautiful shower.

Dinner will be Marg's world famous cheese jaffles. They will be YUMMA. We plan to watch Big Brother tonight, then crash into bed.

Tomorrow is our last day of this trip, and should be an easy 180kms drive to Melbourne, arriving home about midday.

Big4 Park Lane Shepp - site 38.

Big4 Park Lane Shepp - site 38.

Tuesday 2nd October 2012
Day 136 - Shepparton to Home - 225kms.

I used my sleeping bag all night and slept beautiful. We awoke about 6am and watched Kochie as we didn't need to leave until after 8am, if we leave too early we hit the peak hour traffic. So we left Shepparton at 8:25am, and set cruise to 90kph and smelt the roses as we went. Our only stop was at the Seymour Service Centre, just south of Seymour, for a top up of fuel and some chicos. Yumma! We hit the Western Ring road and turned off at Tulla hwy, over Bolte Bridge and along Monash Freeway onto Eastlink and off at Dandenong, arriving home at 11:26am.

We parked the fiver in its spot on the front lawn, even though it is not parallel to the fence it will do for the present.
It is a funny feeling being home, we absolutely loved every minute of being away, but it is great being home, a feeling that I can't put into words. Which is a bit of a worry, as this is a website which runs on words. hehehehehehehe.

We spent most of the afternoon, unpacking the fiver and firing up the washing machine. As at writing (Wednesday 5:00pm), we have been to the funeral, which was packed and beautiful, as funerals go.
We have nearly finished unpacking and so far the washing machine loads are at 5 and nearly finished. I also managed to drive to the bike shop and finalise the purchase of my new bike. It looks bloody great. There are a few extras that I want and have to be ordered in, so I can't pick it up yet. I will post a photo of it when I get it. The weather forecast for Friday to Monday is rain, so I can't pick it up until the weather is dry, I don't want to get it wet.

It's Friday arvo and we have unpacked and packed away all the 'stuff' from the fiver. I only have to vacuum it and wash the outside and then it is ready for next year's trip.
I have been sitting in it watching Bathurst on Ch7, this weekend is Bathurst weekend, not much will be done, except have a few chilled refreshers and watch Bathurst on TV. Go Lowndesy!

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